Subscribe to this blog via RSS-feed (Android-users click here)

non-technical psychology

Art Gallery Mode

A very insightful blog “Raptitude” newsletter contained very interesting idea. I highly recommend reading the full article and subscribe to the newsletter – it is full of content.

“The trick here is that there’s always something significant, poignant, or poetic everywhere you look, if your mind is in that certain mode – so rare for adults — of just looking at what’s there, without reflexively evaluating or explaining the scene. A mystery co-ordinate in an unfamiliar neighborhood gives you few preconceptions about what you’re going to find there, so the mind naturally flips into this receptive, curious state that’s so natural for children.

I sometimes call this state “art gallery mode,” because of a trick I learned from an art history major. We were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, browsing famous abstract paintings by Pollock, Kandinsky, Mondrian, and other artists whose swirls, rectangles, and blobs are regarded as masterpieces.

I said something like “I like some of these but I’ve stopped pretending to know what they mean.”

He told me not to bother figuring out what they mean. “All you’re supposed to do is look at it, and notice the feeling it gives you. That’s it.” (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.